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CONNECT THE WORLD
Hugo Chavez Will Miss Inauguration; Three of Five Men Charged in India Gang Rape Plead Not Guilty; Gender Bias in Bollywood; Leading Women: Artist Bharti Kher Pushing Boundaries; David Bowie Returns; Consumer Electronics Show
Aired January 8, 2013 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): His parents were killed in Syria's civil war. Now despite fleeing for his life, life for this 12 year old boy is a daily struggle for survival.
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ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN London, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
ANDERSON: Refugee life on the border is bad. Inside the country, food is becoming scarce. Tonight, how millions of Syrians are going hungry and what the U.N. plans to do about it.
Also this hour --
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think it makes so much of a difference what you see and what's in your head.
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ANDERSON: As Bollywood hits back over the portrayal of women in film, an Indian author tells me why changes for the industry are not the only answer to India's rape crisis.
And after a decade off the charts, Bowie is back and ready, soaring to the top.
Living in a war zone, in constant fear of attack is hellish enough. But every day now some 1.5 million Syrians are also going hungry. The U.N. Food Relief Agency is warning of a deepening humanitarian crisis as the bitter winter cold sets in.
The World Food Program says 2.5 million Syrians need food assistance. But it's not able to reach about a third of them. It says there are serious bread and fuel shortages across the country. We've got the World Food Program on for you tonight.
Abeer Etefa is the agency's spokesman for the Middle and North Africa. She joins us tonight from Cairo. We thank you for that.
These numbers are absolutely huge. As many as possibly 1.5 million Syrians going hungry and are helpless. When you say they're going hungry, what do you mean by that? Just how little food is there?
ABEER ETEFA, WORLD FOOD PROGRAM SPOKESWOMAN: There is very little going in the country, in terms of the assistance that the people need. WFP is assisting 1.5 million people in the country. However, we know that the needs are much higher, could possibly be even higher than the 2.5 million.
We have received a request from the Arab Red Crescent to increase our assistance to include 2.5 million people. But lack of implementing partners, challenges in the security situation on the ground -- there are some areas that are very difficult to reach for humanitarian aid agencies, including even the Syrian Red Crescent.
These are areas in hot spot -- hot spot areas, basically in the crossfire. So there could be a lot of people that are not getting assistance. But for the meantime, we are assisting 1.5 million people on a monthly basis.
ANDERSON: Right. OK, let's talk about what that assistance means. I've been in refugee camps. I've seen the sort of assistance you provide there, very, very basic dry goods. We're going to talk about refugees on the border, because that is another story.
At present though, we're inside Syria. Tell me where the biggest problems lie. And if you can characterize for my viewers tonight what daily life is like for a family, and what you are or can provide for them? Where are -- where are the hot spots, to start with?
ETEFA: Well, the hot spots are the areas where fighting is taking place. These are areas like in many parts of Aleppo, the border city of Homs, in some parts of the (inaudible) or the Kamishly (ph). So there are any areas of the country where there is intense fighting.
For a family, it's very difficult for many of the internally displaced families. These are people who had to leave their homes and went to different areas. And the amount of displacement inside Syria is quite large.
In terms of the access to food, there are now shortages of bread, which is the daily -- daily staple food for many Syrians. Long cues for people to get bread. And also people may be standing in lines for hours and not able to get the bread that they need.
In terms of our assistance, we merely provide the basic food, which is the food that you need to survive on. That is -- that would include rice, maybe wheat flour, pulses, some tomato paste, salt, possibly sugar. So very basic food that can allow the people to survive.
ANDERSON: Right, OK. I'm going to stop you just for a moment to give our viewers then a sense of what is happening on the border. You describe the situation for many people. We're talking over a million people, and possibly many more, as you say, inside Syria. Let's just get outside for a moment.
The United Nations says nearly 600,000 Syrians have now fled the country because of this civil war, creating a refugee crisis across this region. Now here's how it breaks down. Have a look at this.
Turkey, you've got something like 150,000 refugees there on the border. We got to Lebanon, small country just next door, a fraction of Turkey's size, sheltering 190,000 refugees. That includes some 54,000 Syrians who are actually waiting to be registered the U.N.
You go to Jordan, you're looking at 156,000, again including 48,000 Syrians waiting to be registered. And Iraq, we've got shelter of 68,000, if we include 6,000 still there waiting to be registered. And right over here in Egypt, 13,000.
The numbers are absolutely staggering. But so are the individual stories that we're seeing. So many people have lost everything in the war, even their loved ones.
CNN photo journalist Joe Duran visited a refugee camp on the Syrian/Turkish border. He met a brave little boy there that has a heartbreaking account of what he has left behind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (foreign language): My name is Mur'ee the son of Ali Rajoub. I'm 12. I'm from Azaz.
I have five sisters and five brothers. We have no electricity, no water, a shortage of everything. My mom and dad are dead The fighter jet bombed him in Aleppo. My dad died there, then I brought my mother to Azaz where another jet killed her.
My dad was fasting. And while he was leaving the mosque, explosive barrels were dropped. He was hit and died. Three days after Ramadan, my mom died. The jet bombed her.
Many in the neighborhood were dead. The jets bombed us daily. They were hitting us every day.
Me, my brothers and sisters are here. Our neighbor came and asked me to work with him so we can survive. My siblings are all small. Our situation is difficult. I'm the only one who works.
Our neighbors help us. Every day they come to look after us. Sometimes we sleep without bread.
ANDERSON: Lest we forget the plight of so many people. And all this week, you're going to hear from Syrian refugees as we highlight their plight and hopes for the future. These firsthand accounts all brought to us by CNN photojournalist Joe Duran.
Coming up tomorrow here on CONNECT THE WORLD, we'll hear how other children in the Bap al Salama (ph) Refugee Camps are bearing the scars of the war. All across the region, Syrian refugees shivering in flimsy tents. The temperature drops; torrential rain now only adding to the misery.
Let's bring back our WFP spokeswoman tonight, Abeer Etefa. Those sort of stories just pull at your heartstrings. Of course you've been to many of these refugee camps where Syrians are pretty much living outdoors in the cold these days. And the weather is inclimate.
What sort of conditions have you come across?
ETEFA: Well, very difficult conditions. The most difficult ones are in the refugee camps, of course, because they are not leaving very well prepared to handle the difficult weather conditions in these parts of the region.
In terms of the refugees in Lebanon, some of them are hosted by some of the Lebanese families or they are resting. But in many other cases, like in Jordan and in Turkey and in Iraq, these refugees are living in camps in the outdoors. Today, yesterday, there have been very difficult weather conditions, torrential rain, rain and, you know, very cold weather hitting these areas.
ANDERSON: In brief, how would you describe the situation for Syrians today?
ETEFA: It's a very difficult situation -- turn at the conflict -- with the prolonging of the conflict, it makes it more difficult for many of these people to continue to survive, whether they are inside the country, displaced from a (inaudible) to another one, or in the -- being a refugee in a neighboring country.
WFP is responding to the needs of a quarter million refugees outside of the country. But we expect that by June, we probably would need to increase that assistance to reach 750,000 people, as more Syrians continue to flee the border and seek refuge in neighboring country.
ANDERSON: Three times as much help needed, you say, by June. Abeer, we thank you for joining us tonight. With no relief in sight for the refugees trying to stay warm and dry, I'm afraid the weather, as I say, inclimate in the area.
Let's bring in Jenny Harrison from the CNN Weather Center for a regional forecast. Jen, what can you tell us at this point?
JENNY HARRISON, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, these are the worst months, Becky, December through February. Not only are they the coldest months on average, but also the wettest. To give you an idea, this area particularly with the border into southern Turkey -- so this area of Syria, on average, the highs around 10 Celsius, the low temperature just getting just to below -- just above freezing.
And also quite a lot of days with frost, maybe 20 to 30 during those months, but, as I said, the wettest months as well. The wettest three months of the year -- so much so that, in fact, these three months account for 50 percent of the annual precipitation. So that is rain, but also sleet and snow.
These are the last few hours. It is a very unsettled picture right now. That is because there is an area of low pressure working its way across the region. Now it's already brought some very heavy snow across into Turkey, as much as 24 centimeters in the eastern areas.
And then it's because of twofold; A, the cold air is turning the rain to snow, but the moisture is being picked up across the Black Sea, but also through the eastern end of the Med. So rain, for example, across into Lebanon, western areas of Syria, also northern Jordan. But the snow is elsewhere.
There's 24 centimeters in Turkey, eight centimeters in Istanbul. But the system actually has pretty much cleared through Turkey. The conditions here over the next few days, by Friday, just about reaching the average. But it has been well below, as you can see, across -- Ankara's temperatures staying below particularly in the overnight hours.
So widespread snow throughout Turkey over the next 48 hours. It will also work its way through Syria, and in particular those high elevations in Lebanon, where, again, we have got so many, as we know, of these refugees.
So this is the snow accumulation over the next 48 hours. Northeastern areas of Iraq also picking up some very high totals.
And this is showing you the temperatures across the region through Wednesday. So in some cases you'll notice the temperatures just about above freezing. Winds are very strong levels. They're very cold. This has just also led to the increasingly bad conditions.
As you can see, the trends for the next few days. As we say, starting Wednesday, we've got more snow. Thursday is a better situation. By Friday, skies are clearer generally across the region. But still those temperatures are well below the average.
Becky, remember this is January, so these conditions are likely to continue for about the next month and a half.
ANDERSON: Yes. All right, Jen. Listen, you can feel really helpless, can't you, when you just look at the sort of weather conditions that those refugees are enduring.
But there are things that you can do. Let's go to our website, for example, CNN.com, and look for Impact Your World. There's a list of organizations helping Syrian refugees there and some examples of ways that you may feel that you can contribute, at CNN.com. You'll find the Impact Your World site there.
Coming up live from London -- still to come, Australia's dangerous day, as firefighters battle some of the worst blazes they've ever faced.
And three suspects in the Delhi gang rape trial are to plead not guilty. We'll have more on India's fury and what media can do to help change the perception of women. That's coming next.
ANDERSON: This is CNN. You're watching CONNECT YOUR WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson out of London for you. Welcome back.
This is just coming in to CNN. The Venezuelan government tells us President Hugo Chavez will not attend his inauguration for a new term, which will be held on Thursday. This as Chavez remains in Cuba after cancer surgery.
Now Venezuela's opposition says the nation's high court should decide whether the inauguration can be postponed. The government insists that the new term can begin as planned without an official swearing in. But opposition candidate Enrique Capriles says that Venezuelans voted for Mr. Chavez, not for his vice president or ministers.
Repeating a developing story from just moments ago for your, Venezuela's government has announced that President Hugo Chavez will not attend his inauguration which is scheduled for Thursday.
A look at some of the other stories that are making news this hour as well on CNN. A catastrophic fire threat, that's the warning from Australia's government as more than 130 fires continue to rage, especially in the southeastern state of New South Wales. Soaring temperatures and strong winds fanning the flames of brush fires.
You can see just where the blazes are burning on this map. Bush fires started ravaging Tasmania last week. Have a look at this video from Victoria, Australia's most populated state. One fire has charred more than 7,000 hectares of land there.
And south of the capital Canberra, firefighters are struggling to contain a huge bush fire in the town of Cooma. Kerrie Yaxley from Australia's Nine News reports.
KERRIE YAXLEY, AUSTRALIA NINE NEWS: The spearhead of the heat fueled fire front thrusts first into the state's southeast, thrusting east of Cooma, driven by strengthening winds, boiling up out of the rough bush land, then racing across farming paddocks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's getting worse as the day's gone on.
YAXLEY: The sky a blur of smoke, as a police of six helicopter water bombers try to slow the wave of flames. The bush was already cooked, gum trees and grass dried to a crisp, exploding at the first spark.
This fire has already burn through over 1,000 hectares of land at rapid pace. And these incredible winds are making it that much tougher for firefighters on the front lines.
Fire chiefs splashed out an evacuation warning across the region. That was rapidly superceded by the speed of the blaze. These aerial shots giving some indication of the great expanse of the fire.
SHANE FITZSIMMONS, FIRE SERVICES COMMISSIONER: For the Yaraban (ph) fire, originally it was about relocating or taking shelter. It is now too late to relocate in those areas.
YAXLEY: There were fears of families trying to reach safety would only be trapped on the hilly, twisting roads. Fire teams had their own problems, working their way down dirt tracks, trying to reach farm houses under threat, and watching for spot fires sparked by flying embers.
Any hopes the fire front might stall at the Numerella (ph) River soon evaporated, flames jumping the waterway, pushing on towards properties and small communities in the Kyberinn (ph) Valley. This farmer experienced the full fury and the power of the bush fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was on (inaudible) turn and come back.
YAXLEY: And that's a real possibility. There are fears the southerly change will do little to curb the fire, merely making it swing around into areas so far untouched.
Kerrie Yaxley, Nine News.
ANDERSON: And in other news today, investors turning their backs on Boeing after two new problems in as many days in the 787 Dreamliner. Monday, a fire broke out on an empty Japan Airlines 787 on the ground in Boston. Now that fire was traced to batteries used to start what's known as the auxiliary power unit. That is being investigated.
Earlier today, a different Japan Airlines 787 flight, also in Boston, was canceled after a fuel leak was discovered as the plane prepared to depart. Well, just before coming to air, I asked my colleague Richard Quest, who is an airline expert, just how much we knew about what was going on with these planes at this point.
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RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Very little. And it is a miserable experience for JA, Japanese Airlines, which is the owner of both of the aircraft. The plane was going to be heading to Tokyo when the leak occurred. The previous plane had just arrived from Asia and a battery exploded and caused a fire.
Both planes are within a year old. And that, indeed, is what's going to be the worrying part for Boeing, for the airlines concerned. All the airlines are basically now starting to say, what's happening to these brand new planes? Yes, teething problems, but this seems perhaps to be going one stage further.
Now that's not just me. Listen to the chief executive of Qatar Airways, Aqbar al Baker, whose plane had a problem while it was on its very delivering flight from Seattle.
AQBAR AL BAKER, QATAR AIRWAYS: We're not happy with what happened to us. We paid a lot money to get our airplanes. We have waited three years. And when we get an aircraft that, from day one, has several technical problems, regardless if it is a new problem or not, it is unacceptable.
ANDERSON: With the shares down around three percent at the close today, the Dow just off about a half of one percent, it's clear investors are concerned. Should airlines who are customers of Boeing be concerned at this point?
QUEST: No. I mean, the airlines should be concerned, yes, because they -- every time it's AOG, aircraft on ground, it costs them money and reputation. Passengers shouldn't be concerned. The plane is perfectly safe. I'd go on one tonight to fly across the largest expanse of ocean, if you're paying the ticket.
The truth is this is a niggling (ph), glitchy problem that does happen with brand new aircraft. And this aircraft is at the forefront of technology.
But Becky, the airlines are going to be saying to Boeing, enough is enough. We need you to tell us there's nothing systemically wrong with these glitches. And we need you to put them right.
And although -- and here's a point, the airlines have a high tolerance for technical glitches. They understand how difficult it is. But the 787 is a prestige project. And they want to make sure that they don't have, to mix the metaphors, egg on their face in their prestige aircraft.
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ANDERSON: Richard Quest earlier with me. Well, Boeing has commented on Tuesday's incident. As for Monday's mishap, Boeing says it's working with Japan Airlines, quote, "to understand exactly what happened."
This is CONNECT WORLD, live from London, Becky Anderson. Coming up, FIFA lays down the law in a stand against racism. Two countries will be playing their next World Cup qualifier behind closed doors. Your sports news is up next.
ANDERSON: All right, soccer's governing body has issued sanctions against two countries for racial fan behavior. Is it enough? Alex Thomas joining me now. Probably need to give our viewers the background of this story.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting. This comes less than a week after the unprecedented walk off by AC Milan players in a practice game against an Italian fourth division. Kevin Prince (ph) (inaudible) had enough. He stormed off about racist abuse in the territories.
The rest of the team followed. And almost universal acclaim for their actions now. I don't think timing is coincidental. FIFA announcing they're making Hungry and Bulgaria play their next World Cup qualifiers behind closed doors, with no fans allowed to go in at all.
Both countries being punished for separate incidents of racist abuse by their fans. One antisemitic chanting by the Hungarian fans in a match against Israel last August, and one other for racial abuse against one of Denmark's black players when Bulgaria played them.
So this is maybe -- we said it's a watershed moment last week. Possibly this is FIFA showing a bit more teeth against racism.
ANDERSON: Yes, a few more teeth possibly. I'm going to ask you a personal question. Is it enough. I mean, we're talking about fans here, aren't we? And the teams obviously get -- get the rough end of the stick, to a certain extent.
THOMAS: That's what we're talking about. Are you punishing the right people. But I think black players who got abuse said enough is enough, tougher stands need to be taken. And certainly the anti-racism body saying that. I've spoken to certainly the Football Against Racism in Europe Campaign, who provided written evidence for this investigation into these two cases. And they said without that, maybe FIFA wouldn't have taken action.
But they're nonetheless glad they did. And they said although the fines are still rather paltry, they don't mind about that as long as FIFA takes action. In the past, there have been threats of playing matches behind closed doors, or threats of points deductions. And it hasn't happened. At least this time FIFA has done it.
ANDERSON: All right, let's get -- before you go -- I know you're back at half past 10:00 for our viewers in Europe and Africa with world sports. Much more on that story.
Some video earlier on -- which just amazed me, really. A long distance runner got quite a surprise during a race in Brazil. Let's have a look at that.
THOMAS: Yes, one of Kenya's top runners. And the video really tells the whole story, Becky. It was not where the Olympics are going to be held in Rio in 2016. But nonetheless, a man with mental health problems known to local authorities did attack this runner just yards from the end. Police on motorbikes managed to stop him. And the (inaudible) stay on his feet, frankly.
(inaudible) won the race. But that's worrying for Olympic officials.
ANDERSON: He won the race. Good on him. Give him that medal. Excellent.
Mr. Alex Thomas, as I say, back with world sports, if you are in the region for it. The next world news headlines are coming up here on CNN.
Plus, the billion dollar Bollywood industry comes under fire for its portrayal of women. But is that really where the blame lies?
And he may be a pensioner, but rock god David Bowie is getting his groove back on for his 66th birthday. All that and much more after this.
ANDERSON: You're watching CNN, I'm Becky Anderson in London for you. Time for your news headlines, and I want to get you back to a story that we've been following the past couple of minutes out of Venezuela. CNN has confirmed that President Hugo Chavez will not attend his inauguration for a new term this Thursday.
For more on that, we're joined by Paula Newton in Caracas. Something that we were sort of anticipating. What do we know, and what's going to happen at this point?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know is that the constitution, this blue book here, Becky, says that the president, in order to take his term, must be sworn in in person at a national assembly. The government has now said, look, that's just impossible, it's not going to happen. President Chavez is too sick.
But what the government is saying now is that it doesn't matter what it says in this blue book, they think that this is all a formality and that Hugo Chavez, for all intents and purposes, will remain the president and that he can actually take his oath before the Supreme Court at a later date.
And this, Becky, has us heading head-first into a political crisis in this country, the opposition here saying in no uncertain terms that look, this government's finished, it's over. These people voted for a president, a president that cannot be sworn in, and according to the constitution, it means that we must call elections in the next month. Becky?
ANDERSON: Yes, let's remind our viewers: Chavez undergoing cancer surgery, we believe, in Cuba. What do we know of his health situation at this point?
NEWTON: Very little, and they've continued on that track here with the government. Late last night, we had an update from the government. Their discussion was so vague, saying that he remains in a delicate state, but that he is stable and that he continues to, quote-unquote, "respond to cancer treatment."
By all intents and purposes, though, this is a president fighting for his life. I don't think many people have tried to dissuade -- anyone from the government has tried to dissuade anyone from actually thinking that. We've been all over the city, Becky, and Chavez supporters are now praying for him. They do believe that his cancer is quite serious.
The problem is because there has been no transparency about when he could ever take office again, whether or not he's ever going to return again to Venezuela to be able to take that oath of office, it's left this country completely in a stalemate, and there really isn't a lot going on.
And again, Becky, just to remind our viewers, this is a country in a lot of economic trouble right now, and they really do need some leadership at the helm.
ANDERSON: The news this hour. Hugo Chavez will not attend the inauguration, which is scheduled for Thursday, where of course he would once again be sworn in as president of Venezuela. Paula, thank you.
In other news, the UN's food relief agency warns of a deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria. It says there are serious bread and fuel shortages across the country and estimates about a million Syrians may be going hungry.
Strong winds and record-high temperatures are creating what officials are calling, at least, "catastrophic" fire conditions in southeastern Australia. More than 130 fires are burning in New South Wales right now. The fire service says about 40 of them are not contained.
And India says two of its soldiers have died in a firefight with Pakistani troops in Kashmir. The Indian army says a group of Pakistani troops crossed the line of control in what is a disputed area, but the Pakistani ministry says that's a baseless allegation. Tensions have been high since Sunday, when Pakistan accused Indian troops of crossing the de facto border and killing a Pakistani soldier.
It's a case that has outraged the nation, and it could get even more controversial. Three of the five men charged in the gang rape and killing of a young Indian woman last month are to plead not guilty. That's according to their lawyer, at least, Manohar Lal Sharma.
The five men appeared in a New Delhi court on Monday, where they were charged with murder, rape, and kidnapping. The next hearing will take place on Thursday behind closed doors.
This sparked outrage. The brutal crime in New Delhi has sparked some serious discussion of gender bias in Indian society, specifically in the media. There are those who say the television and the film industries foster stereotypes by frequently portraying women as sex objects. Have a look at this report from Malika Kapur.
MALIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some say it's sexy. Others call it offensive. Not just the dance moves, but the lyrics, too. "I am a piece of tandoori chicken," this actor goes on to sing in a popular Bollywood film. "Wash me down with alcohol."
Many in India argue that films portray women in a derogatory way, particularly in so-called item numbers, songs that have no relevance to a film's plot but appear in several commercial movies.
SHABANA AZMI, ACTRESS AND ACTIVIST: You see fragmented images of a woman's bosom, of her swinging hips, of her swiveling navel, and it makes the woman lose all autonomy and surrender to the male gaze.
CHITRANGADA SINGH AS MAYA LUTHRA, "INKAAR": Come and get me!
KAPUR: This actor feels it's unfair to blame item numbers. Chitrangada Singh's upcoming movie is about sexual harassment. She says it's really about the way men think.
SINGH: When you buy a cigarette pack, it shows you what cancer looks like and people still buy it. So I don't think it makes so much of a difference what you see. It's what's in your head.
KAPUR: But what's in the public's head is often colored by what it sees on screen, a subject that's being heavily debated in India following the New Delhi gang rape that has outraged the country and made it question how its popular culture portrays women.
KAPUR (on camera): Bollywood and television serials play a huge part in shaping Indian society simply because they reach millions of people. Take a look at this slum. There's no sanitation, there's no running water, but almost every home has a television set.
KAPUR (voice-over): Entertainment channel Star Plus says it alone reaches 80 million households. Its serials center on women, often playing the role of a dutiful wife or daughter-in-law.
NACHIKET PANTVAIDYA, STAR PLUS: You want to make it identifiable. We don't want to make situations in our shows which are alien to consumers, because then we simply don't get people watching them. But we want to show particularly how these situations change with effort.
KAPUR: Azmi, who led a silent march of theater and film personalities to condemn the New Delhi gang rape, says it's time for the industry to reflect on its role
AZMI: But -- but -- we do not want the morality brigade to appropriate us. We don't want somebody else to tell us, "You do this, and you do that." We have to indulge in soul-searching and talk about self- regulation.
KAPUR: At Star Plus, the introspection could result in a new show, one that targets a male audience.
PANTVAIDYA: How do we tell our male audiences, this is right, and this is wrong? And that's something that we haven't fully evolved a model for, but that is something -- that is something that we're reflecting on.
KAPUR: TV and film folk say there's no point blaming their industry for recent events. The only people to blame for rape are rapists.
Malika Kapur, CNN, Mumbai.
ANDERSON: Earlier, I spoke to Ira Trivedi, who's an author and former Miss India contestant, and I started by asking her how much she thought the media were actually to blame.
IRA TRIVEDI, AUTHOR, "INDIA IN LOVE": I think we need to keep in mind that women are sexualized and commoditized the world over, so this isn't unique just to India. But if we go one --
TRIVEDI: -- here, and when you impose this sort of portrayal on an extremely patriarchal society, it can only be detrimental.
ANDERSON: Why do you think this particular case has resonated with people in India?
TRIVEDI: We have to understand, this is a youth movement. I was out on the streets in Delhi protesting, and everyone around me was young. And so we understand and I think why it resonated in particular was because the woman who got raped, the woman who died, she could have been anyone.
She was a 23-year-old young woman. She wanted to work. She was ambitious. She didn't want to get married. She wanted to grow up and support her family. And we see so many young men and women could relate to that.
She was coming back from watching "Life of Pi." She'd gone with her friend to go watch a movie, and she was on her way home. So, when people saw this -- and she was very, very close to one of India's largest universities, IGNOU, that's where the rape happened, just minutes away from this university, so you can understand what went through the minds of these students.
ANDERSON: You were, as you say, on the streets protesting at the back end of 2012. Seven years ago, you were competing for Miss India in 2005. And to a certain extent, some people might criticize you as playing a part in the objectification of women at the time.
My first question is, would you do that again? And secondly, would you buy that argument that you did women of India no good, but actually some harm, as it were?
TRIVEDI: Becky, that's -- as to the first question, no, probably not. But I do think that a book was written, I did write a book out of my experiences, and I do -- I did that as a way to hopefully -- where people would read this book and understand what actually goes on behind pageants.
But what's interesting to actually look at is that I think -- this is seven years ago, so when you -- at that point in time and earlier than that, as well, the Miss India pageant was actually kind of a very vanilla- coated beauty pageant. It was -- Miss India was a paragon of virtue, and that was what she was looked upon.
There was on swimsuit competition -- swimsuit round in the Miss India competition. But now, the scene has changed quite a bit.
ANDERSON: Hand on your heart: do you think this case will change anything in India, or change the perception of women by men will prevent this sort of tumultuous numbers that we've seen of rape in India going forward?
TRIVEDI: Being a young, single woman myself, I can tell you that I don't really feel safe on the streets of Delhi. I don't. So, not today. Not after what happened.
ANDERSON: You say that you don't feel safe on the streets of Delhi. Is it much worse, do you think, there as opposed to those other places that you've lived?
TRIVEDI: Hundred and ten percent. Streets of New York, I lived -- I was at Columbia when I was in New York, so I was all the way up in Harlem, and I felt safer there than I felt safer here. And in India, I lived in central Delhi behind the president of India, and I definitely don't feel as safe here.
When you go out to the streets, on the streets of Delhi at night, you only see groups of young men. You do not see any women. Even -- at 9:00 PM onwards, 90 percent of the people that you see on the street, in most -- in the best areas of town, will be groups of men.
ANDERSON: Ira Trivedi speaking to me earlier. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD live out of London. Up next, a portrait of a lady, but forget Henry James. We're talking of a pioneering modern artist. That's next.
ANDERSON: It's the time in the week for our Leading Women series, and we're taking you at this time inside the global art scene where Bharti Kher is pushing boundaries. Much of her inspiration comes from the streets of New Delhi, as Felicia Taylor now reports.
FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside the world of contemporary art, where canvas, fiberglass, and fabric come alive at the hand of this artist.
BHARTI KHER, ARTIST: I really like portraits, and I call them Portraits of a Lady. And there's a kind of very formal aspect of the work with the pillar, which is the concrete, which is like the body.
TAYLOR: To see her body of work, we follow her to the UK, where she was born, to Abu Dhabi, where she's in a major art fair, and to India, where her roots are and where she finds inspiration for her creation.
KHER: It's really important every now and again to leave that isolation and the bubble that you create for yourself as an artist in your studio and come back onto the street and see how everybody else is living and what they're really doing.
TAYLOR: She began her career in 1992 after graduating from college. A trained painter, she has moved on to sculpting and experimenting with fabrics. She's exhibited all over the world and has won numerous awards.
KHER: I think from the age of about seven, or when I started going to school, I knew that I wanted to make art.
TAYLOR: This preeminent artist, who turned her childhood dream into reality, is Bharti Kher.
For Bharti Kher, the essence of her work is in part found here in Delhi, India's second-largest city, with a population of more than 16 million. This market in particular is a gem for Kher. She's come here for the last 15 years.
KHER: This is where the creating is done and where all the manufacturers of stainless steel, bindis, flowers, everything is made here, so -- I always smile when I arrive. I love the chaos, and I think I love bumping into everybody. Everybody's working, everybody's doing their own thing. It's such incredible energy here. Don't you feel it? There's such energy here.
TAYLOR: That energy can lead to looking for bindis, the forehead decoration worn by South Asian women. Bindis have become a signature motif in Kher's work.
KHER: It's a kind of philosophical as well as conceptual idea of repetition, so that if you stick these bindis day after day after day, they're the day in the life of a woman or a person, and the residue of that experience. So, they can become geometric, they can become -- they can start to become like topographical maps.
These are all going to Hong Kong. One, two, three -- actually, four and five.
TAYLOR: In addition to creating fine art, Kher heads a fairly large operation that includes running her studio, supervising staff, and preparing for exhibits. On this day, she needs to work on a show catalog.
KHER: This is mixed media, because there's a lot more stuff in here.
I think the worst part for me is the administration, which thankfully now I handle a lot less than I used to, because you can almost drown under it.
TAYLOR: While Kher says she isn't obsessed with the business side of art, she has a clear understanding of what it takes to remain on top.
KHER: Success in monetary terms gives you freedom. I decided maybe ten years ago I wanted to be a player. So, if you want to be a player, play. Come into the ring. You've got to come in like a tiger and leave as a phoenix, I think.
TAYLOR: And part of being a player means exhibitions around the world, like here in London. She shows us some of the works in the collection.
KHER: This piece is called The Deaf Room. This piece is Warrior With Cloak and Shield. This piece was made in 2006. Basically, I was inspired from -- actually from the news clipping of an elephant that had died in India and had been loaded onto the back of the truck.
When people go away from my work, I want them to go away with questions, say, what? Why has she -- why has the artist made this? What is it about? Is there contradiction? And to talk to the sculptures for a long time.
TAYLOR: What seems clear is that after more than 20 years on the scene, Kher is a creative and tenacious force in contemporary art.
KHER: To decide to be an artist, for me, I think it takes a lot of courage, because there are years of rejection a lot of loneliness. And to be able to believe in your work when nobody's even looking at it takes a real stubbornness, actually. You have to be really stubborn.
TAYLOR: In the coming weeks, more with Bharti Kher.
ANDERSON: And she is by no means our only Leading Women, you can find -- or Woman. You'll find more of our Leading Women at cnn.com/leadingwomen. It's a full series and it's an excellent one. I'm not saying that just because I'm involved.
Anyway, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Without warning, Davide Bowie is back. Next, the unexpected return of the Thin White Duke.
ANDERSON: You're back with CNN and CONNECT THE WORLD. One of the most influential musicians of his generation turned 66 today -- I can't believe it -- with a new website and a new download. CNN's Jim Boulden has the story.
(MUSIC - "WHERE ARE WE NOW?" BY DAVID BOWIE)
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On David Bowie's 66th birthday, a present for his fans: his first single in a decade hit iTunes with little notice.
Bowie's official website says the song, "Where Are We Now?" comes at a, quote, "timely moment for such a treasure to appear, as if out of nowhere," and tells fans he's been busy in New York recording an album entitled "The Next Day," which will be out in March.
Bowie lit up the Twitterverse. "The new Bowie song is a really lovely thing," tweeted one fan. Others, "I really thought he'd retired. Delighted to be proven wrong." "You hardly ever see this much love on Twitter who's still alive."
Some where not so kind to Bowie, who has been recording music for more than 45 years. "It's tragic to hear him using auto tune on his new song. Old alien singer needs robot to sing."
Bowie largely left the limelight after he released "Reality," his 23rd studio album, in 2003. And though Bowie was once a mainstay in record stores, with more than 130 million album sales, his new song is in digital form exclusive to iTunes.
KEITH HARRIS, MUSICTANK: I think the manner of the release is quite interesting as well, because I think that what's happened, particularly for artists like your David Bowie, or Radiohead were the people that did it before, is in terms of actually attracting attention to a new release, you have to find innovative and newsworthy -- and that's probably the important thing -- ways of doing it.
(MUSIC - "WHERE ARE WE NOW?")
BOULDEN: The video for "Where Are We Now?" harkens back to Bowie's time living in Berlin. His website says new sales aren't on his mind. This song comes, it says, when he has something to say as opposed to something to sell.
Sales success may be more obvious when the album releases in March. The question: will he perform it live? It's been eight years since Bowie's taken to the stage.
Jim Boulden, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: I bet he does. Before we go, it's gadgets a-go-go in Las Vegas with this year's Consumer Electronics Show in full swing. I have a challenge for CNN's Dan Simon, he's in the middle of it, and you have effectively a Twitter interview here, 140 characters or less. What's going on?
DAN SIMON, CNN SILICON VALLEY CORRESPONDENT: All right. Well, we're focusing on TVs here at CES, they're always the biggest draw. We're talking about 4K, ultra-HD sets. That's a term you may not be familiar with. This is Phil Jones with Sony, he's going to break it down for us. What is ultra-HD?
PHILIP JONES, SONY: 4K ultra-HD is four times the resolution of a traditional HD TV, which means you can have a bigger TV in your room, you can sit closer to that TV, and the TV look is going to be much, much clearer.
SIMON: All right. The question that I think a lot of people have, is the current TVs are pretty darn good. Why would somebody want to invest, in some cases, thousands and thousands of dollars to get the new one?
JONES: Well, many of you remember going from standard definition to high definition, how big of a difference it was? Well, this is the same huge jump in performance. You can sit closer to an 84-inch HDTV -- 4K TV than you can a 46-inch ACTV.
And it makes your broadcast, your Blu-Rays, your gaming, and even your 3D look better now, and even -- and Sony's also going to provide movie content in the near future specifically to play on it.
SIMON: Phil Jones, thanks very much. Hey, Becky, I'm looking at the world's first and largest 4K OLED TV. I have to tell you, it looks pretty nice. But I tell you what, some of these TVs can cost as much as a car, so until the price comes down, I don't think we're going to see wide acceptance.
ANDERSON: All right. Until I understand the language that's involved in the sell of these TVs, I won't be buying one myself. Good. Thank you, Dan. Dan Simon. I'm Becky Anderson, that was CONNECT THE WORLD on your television. Keep watching us, thank you for watching. Join us back tomorrow at this time, bye-bye.